Fabio Fognini of Italy will be up against Belarussian Egor Gerasimov in the second round of the Olympics men’s singles on Monday, July 26. Get the live streaming options of this Fognini v Gerasimov match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Fabio Fognini v Egor Gerasimov Head to Head
Though both have been around on the men’s Tour for a while, Fabio Fognini and Egor Gerasimov have never played each other before.
With no bigger stage than the Olympics for their first ever battle, the two won’t have the luxury to the sit with their teams and go over footage from their earlier meetings and have to sense each other’s strengths and weaknesses during the match itself.
Fognini Goes Past Sugita
Though it isn’t fun to be playing closed doors, Fabio Fognini, for once, would have thanked his stars for opening his campaign at the Tokyo Olympics before empty stands.
For, had it not been so, it would have been a full house chanting for his opponent, Yuichi Sugita of Japan. As it turned out, however, the veteran Italian star fought past Sugita to progress to the next round.
However, while the eventual score-line may give one the impression of it being a fairly lopsided contest, one look at the match stats shows that there wasn’t much to separate the two players, especially in the first set.
Landing his first serves at 56% to his opponent’s 54%, Fognini struggled to take control of the match in the initial passage of play. However, the match fell decisively in his favour after he matched to grab a break of serve.
After bagging the first set 6-4, the Italian stepped up a gear in the second to close all comeback doors for his Japanese rival. Failing to convert neither of his two breakpoint opportunities, Sugita fell further behind in the contest.
It only seemed a matter of time before Fognini grabbed his second break of serve and once he had it, the match was well and truly in the bag. The eventual score-line read 6-4, 6-3 in the Italian’s favour.
Currently ranked 31st in singles, Fognini hasn’t gone deep at marquee events this year and after two third-round finishes at Roland-Garros and the Wimbledon Championships, he would be eyeing his first Olympic medal to salvage an underwhelming season.
Gerasimov Overcomes Simon in Opener
Currently at No. 79 in the rankings, Gerasimov hasn’t had the best of returns across surfaces. However, irrespective of his humble returns this season, he came to Tokyo carrying the expectations of his nation on his shoulders.
Under pressure to get his Olympic campaign off to a good start against veteran Frenchman Gilles Simon, the 28-year-old Belarussian was on the brink of elimination in the opening round itself after losing the first set 4-6.
With his campaign on the line, Gerasimov lifted his game by a fair few notches and took the attack to Simon. His aggressive ploy fetched the right result as the Frenchman slipped and conceded a break of serve before going down 3-6 in the second set.
With the contest in the balance and all to play for in the deciding set, it was the Belarussian who seemed to have come out with more energy and desire in the third.
Though Simon stayed in the fight, it wasn’t long before Gerasimov got the decisive break and held on to his lead to close out a 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 win.
Fognini v Gerasimov Prediction and Tip
With no previous matches between them, expect a fascinating contest as the feisty Italian bids to quell the Belarussian’s challenge in the second-round tie.
While the two would probably weigh up the same on talent and skill, expect the Italian to come through purely on the weight of his experience. One dare says that a betting person would probably keep the Italian slightly ahead in the race to make it to the third round.